On Tuesday 19 November, the Commission issued a Statement ahead of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. Combatting the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children is key to implementing the Convention and remains a priority for the European Union, as it stressed in October 2019.
The Commission continues to use all of the tools at its disposal to fight these heinous crimes such as:
- Legislation - by ensuring that Member States fully implement EU law on combating sexual abuse and exploitation of children and child pornography (Directive 2011/93). In 2019, the Commission was compelled to open infringements procedures against 23 Member States for non-compliance.
- Coordination - cooperation between public and private actors. This is key to fighting these crimes effectively. The Commission supports coordination through the We Protect Global Alliance to End Child Sexual Exploitation Online, a global, multi-stakeholder organisation bringing together 90 governments, 22 global technology companies, 26 leading NGOs and 8 regional organisations. In addition, the fight against child sexual abuse material has become part of the discussions of the EU Internet Forum, which gathers EU Home Affairs Ministers, the internet industry and other stakeholders to work together voluntarily to combat the child sexual abuse threat. The European Union’s Law Enforcement Cooperation Agency, Europol, also coordinates operational action in the fight against child sexual abuse.
- Funding – the Commission provides funding for a number of projects fighting child sexual abuse. In addition to the INHOPE network, the Commission has funded the International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE)database, which enables the identification of victims globally. The Commission organises regular calls for proposals under both Internal Security Fundand Horizon 2020.
The Commission will continue working towards a world in which children can live free from abuse and exploitation, and where they can enjoy all their rights as described in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- 21 November 2019